Buddy – The Dog Who Loved Too Much

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Meet Buddy, my oldest son’s child – uh, dog! Buddy’s an entertaining pup with an amazing capacity for loving.  Deeply.  If lost, Buddy is the kind of dog that would walk hundreds of miles to find my son. Buddy’s the kind of dog who would – and has – eaten through latticework in my parents’ backyard to get to the front and sit by my son’s truck while my son was visiting. There’s a book called The Dog That Loved Too Much by Nicholas Dodman. It’s about dogs that suffer from separation anxiety, dogs that are terrified to be left alone.

That’s Buddy. Or at least it was in the beginning.

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Buddy was adopted from the shelter at 10 months old. He was a stray, some kind of beagle mix. We don’t know anything about his history. My son had just finished his bachelor’s degree and wanted to get a dog of his own – he and Buddy were instant pals. Only problem? Buddy was terrified of being abandoned again. Buddy suffered from extreme separation anxiety. If my son left for even an hour of a grad school class, Buddy shredded everything – pillows, sofas, clothes, curtains, mini-blinds. Crating? Not an option. Buddy collapsed wire crates.  Ate through plastic crates.

Many would have given up. In fact the #2 reason for returning adopted dogs is separation anxiety. But rather than give up on Buddy – who clearly would have never trusted again if abandoned a second time – my son worked with Buddy. He started with exercise before leaving him alone.

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He tried Kong activity toys.  Aromatherapy. Comforting music. Stuffing everything possible in the closet every time he left so he didn’t lose more bedding and books. They went on walks. Walks. More walks. Even runs, hikes – and mountain climbing.

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Of course there was also training. And trips to dog parks to socialize with other dogs. It wasn’t easy or quick, but over time, Buddy grew to believe that humans could be trusted. That loving too much didn’t have to bring fear. Buddy learned what it is to be man’s best friend.

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We’ve all had times we felt unsure (or at least I know I have!)  Oftentimes it’s the simple things that touch me the most. What’s something simple someone did for you that touched your heart?  A commenter will be chosen at random on Sunday evening, Feb. 23, 2014, to win an advance copy of my April book ONE GOOD COWBOY.

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About Author: cathymann
USA Today bestselling author Catherine Mann writes contemporary romance for Berkley, Harlequin, and Sourcebooks, with her work reprinted in more than twenty countries. She lives on the Florida coast where she and her military flyboy husband have brought up four children. An active volunteer with her local Humane Society, Catherine enjoys writing while foster puppies nap on her feet.

9 thoughts on “Buddy – The Dog Who Loved Too Much

  • Well, the other week some guy bought my friend and I our coffees…but really the nicest thing people do is when they are nice (not just tolerant of) to my daughter and don’t judge, because she’s quite different lots of times but doesn’t ‘look’ different.

    • Hi Sue – Such a wise distinction between nice and tolerant …. seems like sometimes people minimize the importance of being nice, but wow, what a difference a genuine smile makes!! Thanks for stopping by to comment. 🙂

  • I was standing in line for quite a while waiting to checkout at the store. There was a woman in front of me with two children, and they were tired and getting cranky but she could see that my back was hurting me and she offered to let me go in front of her. I couldn’t let myself accept her offer because of the kids, but I thanked her and told her that II’d be fine.
    I have had a few times when I was in tears from the pain and trying to get out of the store and people would just look at me, then turn their head, but she was willing to deal with two tired, cranky kids even longer to help me leave that store sooner. Her offer really touched my heart that day and II’ll never forget.

  • Catherine,
    I love that your son never gave up on Buddy. Buddy will be so grateful to him for the rest of his life.
    As for an act of kindness toward me… it has to be the client that knew I had had a horrible day when I was doing large animal. I arrived at their farm almost an hour late, coverd in moved and a few other fluids. I had cleaned up as much as I could but without a new set of clothes there is nothing you can do. After apologizing for being late the owner said it is not a problem and understood. I did what needed to be done there and as I was loading up the client came out with a couple of beers. Asked if I was done for the day and if so why not come sit for a while and enjoy a beer.
    I took up the offer and it was the best tasting beer.

  • Thanks, Cathy!!

  • It’s always sweet when someone does something nice just to be nice. The world is a crazy place where someone doing something nice is considered unusual.

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